Published on April 22nd, 2017 | by James Ayre0
US Judge Sentences Volkswagen To 3 Years Probation & Independent Oversight
April 22nd, 2017 by James Ayre
Volkswagen AG has been sentenced to 3 years probation by a US federal judge in relation to the $4.3 billion diesel emissions cheating scandal. That includes independent oversight of the company.
For those wondering how much longer the company’s legal problems in the US will take to resolve, it should be realized that this sentencing represents one of the last.
The company will of course still be required to adhere to the terms of the plea agreement — which included the electric vehicle charging station buildout that we reported on a few days ago.
Also, 7 current and former Volkswagen execs have been charged by the US Justice Department with various crimes — one of these execs is in US custody, one has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and 5 appear to be hiding out in Germany (these 5 have not yet been arraigned).
With regard to the recent sentencing, US District Judge Sean Cox commented: “This is a case of deliberate and massive fraud.” Notably, the judge also approved a $2.8 billion criminal fine as part of the sentencing.
Reuters provides more: “As well as accepting the agreement reached between VW and the US government, Cox rejected separate calls from lawyers representing individual VW customers for restitution. … The German automaker pleaded guilty in March to fraud, obstruction of justice and falsifying statements after admitting to installing secret software in 580,000 US vehicles. … The US Department of Justice announced Friday it had selected former Deputy US Attorney General Larry Thompson to serve as the company’s independent monitor.”
In relation to the sentencing, general counsel Manfred Doess stated that the company “deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to this case. Plain and simple, it was wrong…”
And the company itself released a statement that read: “We have worked tirelessly to address the misconduct that took place within our company and make things right for our affected customers. Volkswagen today is not the same company it was 19 months ago.”
I’ll say here that I remain skeptical.